A group of seven birders met at Lowden-Miller State Forest, parking lot #4, at 8am. We spent 2.5 hours at the State Forest, tallying 33 species. We then headed to the Scenic Overlook at Castle Rock State Park, directly across the Rock River from our first location. There, we added another 8 species, giving a total of 41 for the morning. Highlights included a small kettle of five broad-winged hawks at low altitude and directly overhead, giving great looks to everyone. Migrating warblers were light, but we did have Black-throated green, Tennessee, Oranged-crowned, and Common Yellowthroat, along with four vireos (Red-eyed, Warbling, Philadelphia, and Yellow-throated). Also observed were a group of 16 white pelicans following the river Southwest.
Around 9:30 a.m., a Black-throated Blue Warbler was calling from along the main loop road north of the dam. Particularly, it was north of the intersection where the old road to the campground is gated off from the main loop road. Also among the warbler flock was a singing Hooded Warbler!
I drove to the rock overlook at Castle Rock SP on Tuesday and spent 2 hours doing a hawk watch, even though the winds were not favorable. They were SE, but light. Among the many Turkey Vultures were 8 Redd-tailed Hawks, a 4th year Bald Eagle and an adult Peregrine Falcon. On Saturday, Alan Branhagen had a Merlin and Osprey from the same spot.
A nice mix of warblers were in the trees below the overlook, including a female Black-throated Blue Warbler. Also, Northern Parula, Tennessee, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Nashville, Black & White. 2 Philadelphia Vireos were mixed with Warbling and Red-eyed.
I hope this will be a productive spot for the NCIOS field trip on Saturday, 9/21.
Alan Branhagen and I birded Sugar River FP this morning from 9:20-11:20 a.m. We walked several trails. Although there were not a lot of warblers, we had a nice variety of birds, including a juvenile Broad-winged Hawk, a calling Red-shouldered Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, multiple Magnolia, Tennessee and Black & White Warblers and American Redstarts, several Red-breasted Nuthatches, 2 Swainson’s and 1 Gray-cheeked Thrush. Our total was 51 species.